Governor to address vets, SDSU cadets

Joint Color Guard members of the West Point of the Plains, Army ROTC, and Detachment 780 of the Air Force ROTC at SDSU advance the colors at Governor's Day in 2017. That event was moved from Sylvan Green to the Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex when skies threatened. This year organizers are getting ahead of Mother Nature by holding the event at Frost Arena on the South Dakota State University campus at 1 p.m. April 18.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard will be on the South Dakota State University campus Wednesday, April 18, to honor all veterans and recognize the achievements of the Army and Air Force ROTC cadets.

Governor’s Day will be observed at 1 p.m. in Frost Arena.

Daugaard will be making his sixth and final appearance as governor at the annual awards ceremony. He will speak on the freedoms Americans enjoy thanks to those who have served throughout the country’s history and commend the ROTC participants for being selfless, willing volunteers.

Daugaard also spoke as lieutenant governor in 2005 and 2006.

Governor’s Day dates to 1918, when Peter Norbeck was governor and Gen. Omar Bradley was professor of military science.

Following Daugaard’s talk, 50 Army and 52 Air Force ROTC cadets will pass before the governor, SDSU President Barry Dunn and unit commanders.

This year’s awards recipients:
Air Force ROTC

  • Governor’s Cup/Cadet of the Year, the top award for the hosting unit: Emily Johnson, Canton;
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars Award: David McKeen, Hill City;
  • Daughters of the American Revolution Award: Jared Neuharth, Eureka;
  • American Legion Military Excellence Award: Gavin Doering, Alcester;
  • Disabled American Veteran’s Award: Benjamin Williams, Aberdeen;
  • Military Officers Association of America Award: Wade Olson, Omaha, Nebraska;
  • Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War: Brian Gusek, Crystal, Minnesota; and
  • Vietnam Veterans of America Scholarship: Amanda Roeber, McCook Lake, and Chase Meyer, Brookings.



  • President’s Cup/Cadet of the Year, the top award for the non-hosting unit: Trina Baker, Crooks;
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars Award, Mallory Van Klompenburg, Montevideo, Minn.;
  • Daughters of the American Revolution Award: Nicole Severson, Brandon;
  • American Legion Military Excellence Award: Guilherme Rodrigues, St. Paul, Minn.;
  • Disabled American Veterans Award: Kyle Hartze, Rapid City;
  • Department of Army Superior Cadet Awards: Baker, Crooks;  Nathan Stafford, Sioux Falls; Ryan Titus, Hartford; and Laura Selman, Colman;
  • Military Officers Association of America Award: Erin Holdsclaw, Flandreau;
  •  Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War Award; Jacob Burton, Clear Lake, Iowa;
  • Vietnam Veterans of America Scholarship Award: Titus, Hartford; and
  • Caulfield Army ROTC Scholarship Award: Landon Leberman, Parker.

For more information, contact the Air Force ROTC, which is hosting this year’s event, at 688-6106.


About South Dakota State University
Founded in 1881, South Dakota State University is the state’s Morrill Act land-grant institution as well as its largest, most comprehensive school of higher education. SDSU confers degrees from six different colleges representing more than 200 majors, minors and specializations. The institution also offers 36 master’s degree programs, 15 Ph.D. and two professional programs.

The work of the university is carried out on a residential campus in Brookings, at sites in Sioux Falls, Pierre and Rapid City, and through Extension offices and Agricultural Experiment Station research sites across the state.